Sonequa Martin-Green Defends New Star Trek’s Diverse Cast: ‘We’re Taking Another Step Forward’

Sonequa Martin-Green Star Trek: Discovery
Sonequa Martin-Green in 'Star Trek: Discovery.' 

She’s going boldly. After fan backlash against the choice to cast Sonequa Martin-Green for Star Trek: Discovery’s lead role, the actress opened up about making history in the franchise.

“I’m incredibly proud to be the lead of this show and be at the forefront of an iteration of Star Trek that’s from the eyes of a black woman,” Martin-Green, 32, told Entertainment Weekly in an interview published on Thursday, June 22. “That’s never been done before, though obviously there’s been other forms of diversity that have been innovated by Trek.”

Martin-Green, who stars as Michael Burnham, the First Officer of the U.S.S. Discovery, is the first black woman to play a lead role in any Star Trek project. Previously, Nichelle Nichols played a supporting role in the original series as Nyota Uhura.

Nichelle Nichols Star Trek
Nichelle Nichols on 'Star Trek.' Bettmann Archive via Getty Images

The Walking Dead alum went on to praise Star Trek’s legacy, noting that the show is about “looking across the way to the person sitting in front of you and realizing you are the same, that they are not separate from you, and we are all one.”

The star noted while talking to EW that throughout the show’s history, an underlying theme has always been about people of different races and species working together.

She added: “I feel like we’re taking another step forward, which I think all stories should do. We should go boldly where nobody has gone before and stay true to that.”

Original series star George Takei has also defended the new show’s casting choice. “Today in this society we have alien life forms that we call trolls. And these trolls carry on without knowing what they’re talking about and knowing even less about the history of what they’re talking about,” Takei, 80, said on MSNBC’s “AM Joy” on Sunday, May 28. “And some of these trolls go on to be presidents of nations.”

“You know, when you go out into space, you’re going to have even greater diversity,” the actor added. “These so-called trolls haven’t seen a single episode of the new series because it hasn’t been aired. And they don’t know the history of Star Trek, that Gene Rodenberry created this with the idea of finding strength in our diversity.”

Star Trek: Discovery will premiere on Sunday, September 24 on CBS.

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